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Christmas cookie kick-off in NY Mills

Volunteers Tori Kempenich, Shelby Steinbach and Taylor Plautz spread a base layer of icing on the childrens' choice of cookies. The girls were part of the Family Community Career Leaders of America group.1 / 2
Ike, Avery, and Ian Hill from Ottertail shared in the decorating fun at the cookie-decorating event, sponsored by the Bake Shoppe in New York Mills.2 / 2

Giant cookies, mounds of frosting and choices of sprinkles kicked of the 14th Annual Christmas Tree Festival Friday night in New York Mills.

Leroy and Josie Smith from the Bake Shoppe made more than 300 cookies for the event.

Throughout the evening, 225 kids mingled in, chose a foot long Santa, snowman or tree-shaped cookie, and sat down with as much icing and as many sprinkles as they wanted.

Artistic abilities varied, as some kids carefully placed sprinkles and icing, and others simply plopped the frosting on in thick mounds. Kids squeezed more than 70 pounds of icing onto their masterpieces that night.

"The kids have a good time," Leroy Smith said, and that's the point.

The Bake Shoppe has hosted a cookie decorating night for 16 years, the first two years at their shop downtown, and the last 14 in the City Hall.